Fight worthwhile

I am writing in response to the ludicrous letter by Marlo Buddy (Sept. 28) requesting the Star to drop the issue of Martha Palmer.

I must say I didn’t realize business majors were being schooled in censorship, but with your management background, I’m sure you can relate to what the administration is doing. They are treating Martha like a commodity and are making a travesty of her First Amendment right to free speech.

You ask who is Martha Palmer? This causes me to ask, have you been to any of the rallies? Have you taken the time to read any of the literature which has been posted or handed out all over campus? Have you attended any of the meetings? Or have you been living in the bottom of the lagoon of apathy all this time, occasionally coming up for air, classes and to write letters about that which you care nothing about?

You say you would like to see Martha fight her own battles; well she is. Each day she walks into the CHANCE office where she has to contend with her boss, co-workers, administrators, and others who for various reasons would like to keep her from helping black and hispanic students. She has to work in an atmosphere in which she is continually harassed and is given no support. I had the opportunity to listen to Ms. Palmer the same day your letter was printed, and it is a FACT that the harassment continues.

The majority of people on this campus don’t like to hear or see the term “racism.” It’s probably human nature to deny something that one doesn’t want to deal with. It’s hard to comprehend why certain people won’t face up to the fact that racism is acceptable at NIU. Let’s not kid ourselves. It’s not just a few people. It’s not what some would call “isolated incidents.” It’s deep-seated in many of us, and with this administration, it comes from the top and trickles down. Martha is one woman who has spoken out and will continue to speak out against racism as well as sexism on this campus. Because this problem is an embarrassment to the “big boys” they decided Martha must go. Well, Marlo, there are a lot of students who feel the “big boys” are wrong and need to be taken down a few pegs.

I am not a CHANCE student, nor do I know Ms. Palmer personally, but unlike you, who chose to stand on the sidelines and complain, I decided to get involved. Martha is using her total mental and physical facilities to fight for true “diversity,” unlike the administration whose actions cause “Unity in Diversity” week to be nothing more than a week of hypocrisy.

You say articles about Martha clutter your paper. Well, Buddy, this paper belongs to everyone, and Martha’s story deserves to be heard. It’s obvious you are of the mindset who feels minorities and their concerns should not be seen or heard, and on this campus you’re in good company. But despite the obstacles thrown against us, a new coalition of students is forming, one that seeks to right the wrongs so prevalent here. The Martha Palmer affair has indeed shed light on some of those wrongs.

We are well aware of the grim reality that Martha may not be rehired, but when all is said and done, there will be some who can at least say we tried. We fought for a worthwhile cause, for a worthwhile individual, and we gave it our best shot. But until the end, I say Unite and Fight.

Otis Fitzgerald Richardson

Graduate Assistant